BATTLE OF SECOND PLACE TEAMS: St. John's Heads To Xavier For BIG EAST Series

Tyler Sanchez has five RBI in eight BIG EAST games this season.

May 1, 2014

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    QUEENS, N.Y. - With sweeps in each of its last two BIG EAST weekends, St. John's (27-15, 7-2) travels to Cincinnati to take on new league member Xavier (24-18, 7-2) in a series that features a pair of teams that are tied for second in the conference standings. The Red Storm and Musketeers open the series with a 3 p.m. game on May 2. The series continues at 1 p.m. game on May 3 and concludes with a noon first pitch on May 4.

    Leading Off
  • After batting just .236 and posting a 6.28 ERA in its first 13 games (3-10), St. John's has batted .310 to go with a 3.00 ERA in the last 29 games (24-5).
  • St. John's is 24-5 this season when allowing the opponent to score five runs or less, including a 5-1 mark in BIG EAST play.
  • Buoyed by an offense that has drawn a league-leading 199 walks, tied for 25th-most in the country, St. John's ranks 15th in the country with a .393 on-base percentage.
  • The offense also ranks 26th in the country in scoring with an average of 6.5 runs per game and ranks 39th with 274 runs scored.
  • Joe Kuzia, who leads the BIG EAST with eight saves, has the most innings pitched (29.1) among all Division I pitchers that have a 0.00 ERA. The righty is one of just two pitchers with a 0.00 ERA and at least 25.0 innings pitched.

    Inside The Series With Xavier

  • This weekend will mark the first-ever meetings between St. John's and first-year BIG EAST member Xavier.

    Scouting The Musketeers

  • Xavier is 24-18 on the season, including a 7-2 mark in BIG EAST play, after midweek wins against Wright State and Cincinnati.
  • The offense has a .286 batting average and scores 6.1 runs per game, while leading the BIG EAST in doubles (72) and home runs (25).
  • One of four players with a team-high four home runs, Andre Jernigan leads the team with 34 RBI.
  • Joe Forney has 26 RBI and a team-high 15 doubles, while Daniel Rizzie also has 26 RBI to go with 13 doubles and four home runs.
  • On the basepaths, Jernigan and Brian Bruening are both 10-of-14 in stolen bases attempts.
  • The pitching staff has a 4.12 ERA and allows a .253 batting average, while striking out 225 batters in 375.2 innings of work.
  • Vinny Nittoli (5-2, 1.83) and Scott Klever (5-3, 3.28) pace the rotation. Brad Kirschner (1-1, 2.40) leads the charge out of the bullpen with six saves.

    Caruso, Lauricella Earn First Team Capital One Academic All-District Honors

  • Sophomore outfielder Alex Caruso and junior outfielder Zach Lauricella both earned first team Capital One Academic All-District honors, as selected and announced by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
  • The selections give St. John's at least one Academic All-District honoree in each of the past nine seasons.
  • A sport management major with a 3.50 GPA, Caruso ranks ninth in the BIG EAST in batting average (.333), second in on-base percentage (.470) and tied for first in walks (29). The outfielder has 29 runs scored to go with four doubles, two triples and seven RBI.
  • Lauricella, a sport management major with a 3.44 GPA, ranks seventh in the league with 33 runs scored and ninth with a team-high nine doubles. The only Red Storm player to start all 42 games, Lauricella is batting .267 with three triples, three home runs and 26 RBI.

    Kuzia, Lauricella Garner Selections To BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll

  • After helping St. John's complete a conference sweep against Georgetown to cap a 4-0 week, reliever Joe Kuzia and outfielder Zach Lauricella were both named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll.
  • Kuzia, who has yet to allow an earned run in 28.1 innings of work this season, tossed 3.0 shutout innings to record a pair of saves. The BIG EAST leader in saves with eight, the righty worked 1.1 innings to preserve a 4-2 win against Boston College and tossed 1.2 innings to notch the save in a 7-6 win against the Hoyas.
  • Lauricella batted .529 (9-for-17) with three multi-hit games and three multi-RBI games as part of a seven-RBI week. The outfielder scored six runs, added one double and one home run for a .765 slugging percentage, posted a .600 on-base percentage and swiped two bases.


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